More and more people are interested in living their lives in an environmentally friendly way. So I looked at a lot of different eco websites (for example www.ata.org.au) and tried to get as much information as possible how to convert my massage clinic in Doncaster East, Melbourne into a more environmentally-conscious business.
Today, evidence of environmental awareness is everywhere but there are no existing standards to classify a massage clinic environment friendly. So I just applied some common sense. Making the effort to transform my massage practice into and eco-friendly business may not seem to be enough to make a big difference ... but as always it starts with each individual to contribute their part.
We checked our energy (electricity & gas), water, chemicals and the products we use. We identified the following 6 things which are already incorporated at our massage clinic.
We know that there is far more that we can do - but it’s a start .
For every massage we need a lot of clean, fluffy towels. There are a lot of tips on the Internet to use cold water for washing. We do this already for our private clothes. But for a professional massage clinic. Hot water and a hot dryer are necessary to kill any infectious organisms. So what else could we do?
a) We got some new energy efficient appliances. The top loader had was replaced with a modern 5-star front loader.
b) Hang the washing on the line and use the dryer only for 30min to get fluffy towels.
c) We use the electricity night tariff. This means our washing machine and dryer usually runs at 11pm.
3. Water consumption
Washing all these massage towels uses a lot of water - even in our very efficient front loader. But there is a way to reuse the water in the garden. We installed a grey water system with the effect that we do not need to water our garden at all - even in a very hot summer. All the water gets reused by my plants. We also connected the shower and the bathtub to the grey water system. A great way of reusing water.
3. Biodegradable washing powder
As a positive side effect of the grey water system is that you have to use biodegradable washing powder which contains no phosphates. This is necessary that the plants survive. We do not use the grey water system in winter to give our plants some regeneration time.
It is amazing how much energy a little business like ours can use. There were a lot of old 50W downlights installed in my massage clinic & house. In total we had 32! Thirty-two! 1600W! We slowly started to convert them to energy efficient LED lights (3W - 9W) or lower wattage halogen lights (20W). When one of the old light bulbs is damaged we replace them with new efficient light bulbs. We also fitted some low energy fluorescent lights where possible.
5. Solar System
We also looked into green energy from our electricity provider. All the offers we checked did not really convince us that it makes sense to pay a little more and receive green energy. How could we be sure that we really get green energy? We couldn’t! So we decided to put a small solar system on our roof. This would produce enough energy to offset our usage in the massage clinic. 100% renewable energy!
The system will not pay itself back totally (we look at 8 years at current electricity prices) as we use too much energy within the day and can’t feed much back into the grid.
6. Massage oil products
A lot of people are allergic to certain chemicals and have skin irritations. Since the body absorbs chemicals through the skin, using best organic massage oils and creams are a must for an eco-friendly massage. We only use premium quality coconut oil which is extracted from fresh organically grown coconuts. The extra virgin coconut oil is produced using the Direct Micro Expelling (DME) process. This creates empowerment opportunities for farmers, and produces a pure and natural oil within one hour of opening the nut. (You can also buy this oil here.). We also offer water based oil as an alternative to the coconut oil.